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Old 08-23-02, 07:18 AM   #1
deliriou5
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Logic of putting drivetrain on right side of bike?

Someone's recent report of a bike crash made me wonder... is there a specific reason why bike makers decided to put the drivetrain on the right side of the bike? Because to me it seems more logical to put it on the left. Reason being that, while riding on the road, if you KNOW that you're gonna fall, and somehow you are able to make a choice between falling to the left or to the right, most people would choose right... there's more potential for drivetrain damage that way.

Anyone have any input?
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Old 08-23-02, 07:38 AM   #2
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I'm not sure why the drivetrain is on the right, but once that became a standard, deviating from it would be difficult, no?
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Old 08-23-02, 07:41 AM   #3
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yup of course . just like once you get started on the english measurement system, switching to metric would be VERY VERY difficult LOL. I don't know how those canadians did it!
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Old 08-23-02, 07:46 AM   #4
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Bike races on the track, like horse races, go counter-clockwide around the track. Early bicycle racing was all track and one of the reasons I've heard for the right-side-drive is that left-side-drives tended to get more fouled from the crud and dirt on the inside of tracks, AND it was found that spectators, who in those days watched exclusively from the outside of the track wanted to see the works of the bicycle.

Mundane, yes. Totally arbitrary? Pretty much...
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Old 08-23-02, 07:49 AM   #5
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whoa... good call.. thanks for the info another piece of useless trivia to add to my collection
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Old 08-23-02, 07:54 AM   #6
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That's interesting!

My only guess would have been that it had something to do with what side you mounted a horse from.

I remember reading an interesting paragraph once, pointing out that the width of railroad tracks was set to be the width of a wagon drawn by two horses: and the size of the space shuttle was determined in order to make it possible to ship it by train. The point being, that, even in the space age, we are still basing our engineering on the average width of a horse's @ss......
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Old 08-23-02, 08:36 AM   #7
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Originally posted by velocipedio
Bike races on the track, like horse races, go counter-clockwide around the track.
That would suck! For some reason I can can curves much better in the clockwise direction.
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Old 08-23-02, 09:36 AM   #8
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A trained competent mechanic can correct me if I am wrong about this, but I believe that a right-side drive train tends to tighten itself when pedalled. The only item in the drive train that would not tighten itself is the left pedal which is therefore reverse threaded. A left side drive train would need to have all of its parts reverse threaded (except the right pedal) or else it would tend to loosen itself under the force of pedalling.
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Old 08-23-02, 10:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by deliriou5
.... Reason being that, while riding on the road, if you KNOW that you're gonna fall, and somehow you are able to make a choice between falling to the left or to the right, most people would choose right... there's more potential for drivetrain damage that way.

Anyone have any input?
I've never had a choice on which way I was falling but if I recall correctly, every time I was thrown to the left. Good thing too since I do not wish to hit the curb [I saw this once and it was UGLY]. Oddly, in any of the wrecks I've had I've never experienced drivetrain damages.
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Old 08-23-02, 12:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by RegularGuy
A trained competent mechanic can correct me if I am wrong about this, but I believe that a right-side drive train tends to tighten itself when pedalled. The only item in the drive train that would not tighten itself is the left pedal which is therefore reverse threaded. A left side drive train would need to have all of its parts reverse threaded (except the right pedal) or else it would tend to loosen itself under the force of pedalling.
So it all boils down the thread direction on a screw...
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Old 08-23-02, 12:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by RegularGuy
A trained competent mechanic can correct me if I am wrong about this, but I believe that a right-side drive train tends to tighten itself when pedalled.
Only on modern English threads. Early bikes didn't even have screw-in BBs. The right-side drive predates the threading technology...
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Old 08-23-02, 12:35 PM   #12
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Oh, the money I could have saved this year had I just thought to shop for a bike with the drivetrain on the left
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Old 08-25-02, 05:26 PM   #13
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So it all boils down the thread direction on a screw... [/B]
ie: we are all "threaded" because of the direction
???

Wouldn't you know???
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